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New Year Kicking
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Do you have a New Year’s resolution to kick a bad habit? It may take work, but even the toughest of habits can be broken with God’s help. A key to winning over bad habits can be found in what my husband calls the “Replacement Principle.”

Think back to last spring when you did some spring cleaning. You didn’t move all your belongings out of your house, clean it, and then leave it empty. You threw out or gave away what you didn’t need, and cleaned up what you had. You replaced the dirty for clean, the old for new.

It’s the same with our lives. When we ask Jesus to do some cleanup on the inside, it’s our job to not leave ourselves empty. We need to replace the bad habits we got rid of with good ones. That’s where the Replacement Principle comes in.

The first step is to ask God to help you do some spring cleaning in January. Do your best to remove easy access to the habit. For instance, if you want to kick the habit of living your life through romance novels, don’t leave them lying around. Toss them out! If you want to kick the habit of over-eating, don’t leave donuts sitting on the counter. Throw them in the garbage! If you want to quit over-spending on credit cards, cut them up, or leave them locked away for an emergency, and give the key to a trusted person. If you want to start watching better movies, get rid of the lousy ones in your house and put a lock on tempting Cable channels.


The next step is to replace the bad with good. Replace those romance novels with inspirational, uplifting books. Replace that junk food with healthy fruits and vegetables. Replace your credit cards with an envelope in which you save cash for something you want. And replace those lewd or violent movies with movies that build character.

If you follow the Replacement Principle, then when you’re tempted to go back to old habits, you’ll know that you have a choice. You now have better options.

Kicking a bad habit this New Year is doable! And God will help you. The more time you spend reading your Bible, talking with Him, and being with other Christians, the easier it will be. If you should fall back into that old habit, don’t give up! Ask for forgiveness and move on.

A great text for this New Year is James 4:7, 8: “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet” (James 4:7, 8).

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from THE MESSAGE ©.

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